BBC BLOGS - George Riley

Archives for April 2012

Atkins keeps on proving doubters wrong

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George Riley George Riley | 22:30 UK time, Thursday, 26 April 2012

While Warrington Wolves centre Ryan Atkins is playing the best rugby of his life, the team that decided he was not good enough to play for them remain in real danger of going out of business.

Warrington host Bradford Bulls on Saturday afternoon in a Challenge Cup fifth round tie being televised on BBC One with Atkins admitting he has no idea how the Bulls will survive.

"I feel so sorry for the players and fans," said Atkins, who was allowed to leave Odsal to sign for Wakefield six years ago despite impressing through the Bradford academy.

"The fans buy the shirts and travel home and away and it is then those same fans who are asked for more money. That's bad.

"I have no idea how they will get the rest of the cash or whether they will survive, but it has at least got the right reaction from the players."

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Rugby league's marathon man

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George Riley George Riley | 19:17 UK time, Friday, 20 April 2012

Among the thousands of fund-raisers and fun-seekers lining the London Marathon course this weekend is a rugby league inspiration proving everyone wrong.

In 1996 Steve Prescott made his England debut alongside St Helens team-mate Paul Sculthorpe. On Sunday the two best mates will cross the finishing line together at Buckingham Palace at the end of an incredible journey. The pair will arrive in the capital from Calais, after travelling there in a rowing boat from Dover. This after running the Paris Marathon last Sunday and cycling hundreds of miles back to England in the days since. Steve also has terminal cancer.

In fact he was given months to live in 2006 and told he would not see his children grow up.

He is one of the most inspirational men I know.

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Featherstone's derby day dreams

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George Riley George Riley | 14:02 UK time, Thursday, 12 April 2012

“In Featherstone, they mine coal and play rugby league.”

That simple voiceover, painting a picture of life in the tiny west Yorkshire town, appeared in the 1969 film “The Game That Got Away”.

This weekend, Featherstone’s part-timers, who have topped the Championship for the past two seasons, are looking forward to one of the biggest games in their recent history when neighbours Castleford arrive at Post Office Road to renew hostilities in the Carnegie Challenge Cup.

It will be the fierce rivals’ first meeting in the competition in 20 years, with Super League Castleford seeking a first cup win over their lower-league opponents since 1941.

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Why Saints landed a winner in Brown

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George Riley George Riley | 18:47 UK time, Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Current Huddersfield coach Nathan Brown has been backed to bring success when he takes over at St Helens next year - by the disappointed players he'll leave behind at the Galpharm Stadium.

The Australian this week aborted his planned return home at the end of the season to take over at Super League rivals Saints.

But despite his change of heart, the Giants players have wished him well and described the 38-year-old as the "best there is".

"He is the best coach I have ever had," said Huddersfield prop Eorl Crabtree (whilst cooking homemade meatballs if you're interested) who has worked with a few good coaches since his club debut in 2001.

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